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Janey's Arcadia

Coach House Books


It is true Canada is not exactly a Utopia, Ltd.,
for there is hard work and a rough, raw, erudite wail
against the postmodern loss of meaning and emotion to be done
before comfort or affluence are built. I used to have a lot of idyl
fantasies inwrought with Indign traits about your too bruised
and scared surface looking into the seeds of time. How now,
my masters! Smacks not this one-acted poem of the great
national prosaic life of Arcady?

Janey’s Arcadia restages Canada’s colonial appropriations in a carnivalesque cacophony of accented speech, weather, violence, foliage and carnality. Rachel Zolf assembles a pirate score of glitch-ridden settler narratives, primarily from Manitoba. Clashing voices squall across time, flashing pornographic signs that the colonial catastrophe continues with each brutal scrubbing of Indigenous knowledges and settler responsibility. Unsettling the Arcadian promise of a new pure home, this poetry asks whose bodies are consumed as fuel, and whose glitched subjectivities dirty up received narratives of supremacy and vanishing. Subversive, aversive, conversive, Janey’s Arcadia propels the reader toward necessary ethical encounter.

Finalist, Lambda Literary Award for Poetry | Finalist, Raymond Souster Memorial Award | Finalist, Vine Awards (Poetry)